Unbearable: Pottery Barn Catalogs Are My Own Special Form Of Infertility Masochism

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beatrix potter nurseryHaving a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

It is pretty much guaranteed that I will cry two times a month. I’m not very big on the waterworks. I really hate crying in front of anyone, including my husband. But I’ve just come to accept that crying is going to happen. It’ll happen the day that I’m sure I’m not pregnant and I’ll be waiting another month to see that stupid second line on the pregnancy test. And I’ll cry when I look through the monthly Pottery Barn catalog. No, I’m not joking.

Listen, there is something intensely emotional about baby’s nursery. We can all be honest and admit that it has nothing to do with the child themselves. They don’t care what the thing looks like. But it shows the parents hopes and feelings about their little ones. Moms spend hours upon hours perfecting nurseries, just wanting the most wonderful place for their little one to lay down.

For years, I’ve been flipping through those Pottery Barn catalogs, parsing the different motifs and collecting scraps of ideas that I like. It’s like building your dream house. I have my future nursery all planned out in a Peter Rabbit theme with soft green accents. I have framed Beatrix Potter prints.  I have a beautiful collection of her work and some special bunnies to go on the shelves. I even have a small Peter Rabbit tea set.

And do you want to know where I got this idea and even the wonderful tea set? That’s right, Pottery Barn. I got the idea to find some prints out of the older books I had and frame them. Don’t worry I just used the very first page of the book. I didn’t destroy the stories just for an arts and crafts project.

You’d think, since I have an absolutely wonderful nursery all set in my head, I wouldn’t need to flip through the magazine anymore. I wouldn’t need to look at all the other adorable and whimsical bedding sets and picture arrangements. I shouldn’t have to, and yet I sit with this tradition every month. I flip through the pages, consider just a few changes to a shelf or an organizing system, and then I bust into tears. They just roll down my face as I flip the pages, looking at all the nurseries I’ll never have.

My husband wonders why I do it. I think he’s considered taking my name off the mailing list multiple times. But I just can’t help it. There’s something about adorable little kids’ rooms. There’s something about seeing those spaces, all done up for happy and healthy babies that I might never get to know. It’s just this masochistic habit I can’t break.

The Pottery Barn catalog is my addiction, and I realize that it’s an unhealthy one. It never helps. It makes me feel depressed and disappointed and just a little bit hopeless. But I can’t quit it.

(Photo: Pottery Barn)